Earth Changes: A Confluence of Inner and Outer Growth

by Jack Adam Weber

When hope is used to reject reality, this is called denial, and denial usually has a darker side than the (fertile and therefore rejuvenating) darkness it initially resisted. When we accept the dark and difficult side of side of life, the experiences that are not rosy and peaceful, we give ourselves an opportunity to undergo transformation, a transformation that can deliver us in earnest to a new level of fulfillment, integration, and therefore healing.

When we find more inner fulfillment we are more able to do without the many sugary and unsustainable diversions and entertainments offered us by consumer culture, and even alternative movements. Being able to joyfully “do without” is an anti-consumerism, self-sovereignty model that is the save (what is left of) the planet paradigm. It is radical anarchy, a fundamental, deep-cutting protest that leaves us feeling better, not worse. It is truly sustainable rebellion, what I have called “inner activism.” And we get there by clearing our the storehouse of pain in our hearts via the alchemy of turning pain (especially evident in feeling anger without much grief) into beauty, which is to uncover real gold so we don’t have to settle for the addictions of fool’s gold.

If we cannot, or do not know how, to deal with difficulty, and especially the difficult emotions such as fear, helplessness, rage, remorse, and sadness, then we cannot undergo transformation for becoming comprehensively better people. We cannot grow in earnest because these emotions provide the vehicle for our embodying all aspects of the failing, dark side of challenging times. As Carl Jung said, “There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” Sans transformation we cannot convert darkness into light and we miss out on at least half of life.

 

When we cannot transform dark into light we tend to hug the light—the easy, positive, literal, and non-paradoxical light of pursuing entertainment, skin-deep kindness (slightly better than no kindness), easy pleasures and stimulation, religious and New-Age beliefs, and distractions of all kinds— a little too closely. This leads to superficial living, denial, excess consumerism, addiction, and a lack of soulfulness. We can hug this metaphorical light so closely that we make up literal stories about who we “truly are” and the essence of the universe, as if these beliefs could prevent the darkness from entering us, which it does in order to, as the great poet Rilke used to say, help us “truly be here.”

 

In truth, and in the saddest and most absurd twist of irony, when we make up stories about the light as the only truth, even perverting quantum physics to do so, we deny ourselves the opportunity for real, embodied change as well as productive, respectful, and meaningful relationships with others. The tendency to use the belief about light only to imagine and directly seek light, without embracing the dark inside us, is flawed. It is shallow thinking and shallow living that does not understand that more light beyond a modicum of doing good and efforting peace is most sustainably generated by embodying heartache in order to become more wholehearted, more comprehensively light. This way we do not shove the skeletons of painful experience into the recesses of our bodies. This, as I will discuss later, becomes the ugliest way to live and to diminish the gift of life. As I have proposed before, “Denying the beauty of paradox causes us to live out the endless suffering of its irony.”

A path of “rising above” creation and our own bodies, and therefore the Earth of which we are a carnal part, is what I will generally refer to as “transcendence.” Transcendence in this light works against transformation, as the former removes us from a rooted, integrated, and grounded care of material life and our own humanness. Embodied, transformative, somatic-centered change and integration is what we need to join with the Earth and save our species and countless others, for there is nothing more embodied and emblematic of “being here” than the Earth and her beautiful, carnal, natural expression.

Therefore, transformation always puts transcendence to the test of reality. We see transformation knocking everywhere now, especially in areas where lava, fires, floods, and drought are making themselves felt strongly. This is the transformative power of the Earth, and if we wish to join the Earth instead of perpetuate the centuries-old, unilaterally over-exercised, patriarchal paradigm of progress and plundering without replenishment, then we can take the Earth’s changes as an invitation for transformation and rejuvenation of ourselves on all levels. As Nature destroys and challenges our safety and hubris, we are given the opportunity for humility, awe, and valuable self-reflection for how we act towards Nature.

 

FAMOUS

 

I am not famous

Like the sun or life after death.

 

If I were, would you pay more

Attention, listen more closely?

 

Heartache leads me to this earthly abode

Turned into the fallen leaves and soil

 

Well protected from the bright lights

That make anything or nothing something.

 

Thankfully, the world thinks

It has bought and re-sold all the secrets

 

So its real treasures remain protected

By fierce angels demanding we give up

 

All that permits our continued walking

Along ways hidden from poor reflection.

 

If this were the pointing finger

Would you have an easier time dying

 

To all you think is good and golden

So the moon might finally carry you

 

Through the fathoms you have ignored

For the idea of a shore?

 

Transformation that thrusts us into difficulty and all the emotions we would choose not to accept on a sunny day, is a taste of death. It is inherently scary, yet fear is not all bad.  This dark, destructive power is part of the creation cycle; it’s just that we call it bad because we don’t like to feel growing pains, especially those with no relief in near sight. And honestly, they do feel “bad,” but feeling bad is the beginning of feeling deeply good, but we must deeply accept bad in order to feel deeply good. This proposition also gives us the opportunity to practice faith, a faith that by embodying what is now will give us the best chance and best results for the future—and to boot, give the Earth the best chance it can to keep its millions of ecosystems intact.

 

TRANSFORMATION vs. TRANSCENDENCE

 

Transformation is the way of the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine. Transcendence, as the imagination of a perfect or lofty place in the sky or ethers, denies death and is the emblem of the Great Father, or Divine Masculine. However, we can also understand transcendence as the new level of integration we embody after a challenging time. This was one of Carl Jung’s understandings of the word transcendence, one that he integrated with hands-on, embodied emotional work. This version of transcendence is a genuine rite of passage; it is the new sense of self and depth we embody on the other side of painful experience. Ultimately, if we can transcend (reach new integration) via transformation, we unite these two dynamics and archetypes.

A trick—or skillful discernment—is to know when to enact and honor the Father and when to honor the Mother. A good gauge to guide you is fear. Yes, fear. Fear is not the evil rap it gets in New Age and other disembodied “spiritual” circles. For when we deny fear, we also deny humility, valuable caution, and insight into our dark side, where we can begin to integrate its gifts into consciousness to share with one another and the Earth, thereby creating more balance and fertility.

Fear’s invitation to the dark is, I imagine, precisely why the light-obsessed New Age culture denies it so pervasively. And this turning from fear, and more specifically the turning away from pain, ironically enough, is what I see as a primary underlying cause for the destruction of the planet and our humanity, especially our capacity to deeply love. In other words, the obsessive and narrow-visioned positivity and literal light-seeking we see today is actually fear in disguise. Because it is a fear that is unconscious and denied, it remains infertile, incapable of transformation, and therefore lethal in the worst of ways, which is the collective projection by humanity of our denied darkness onto the beloved Earth, thereby killing us and causing hundreds of other species daily to go extinct. Again, denying the inner, paradoxical work of transformation (working through darkness for light) leads to real-life monsters bearing down on us from the outside, which outside is a reflection of our own inner denial of the dark, practically experienced as our dark, difficult emotions. When we ignore our dark emotions, we set in motion the ten-thousand evils.

If you fear facing something inside yourself, it is the Mother that calls you to pay attention and to show up in your depths for what might not be so pretty. If you discover at any time that there is no obvious way out of your predicament and you need guidance, pray and call on your embodied intuition to guide you. As the lava finds new tubes through which to travel to the liberating sea, so we can find unforeseen tributaries in our own psyches for freedom, for our own natures to expand. In this inner freedom and transformation we join the creative force of the Earth, of Nature, self-evident in the oozing, ever-expanding and discovering flow of lava. Allowing our hearts break-open unearths and exposes this new terrain in our psyches, giving us ground upon which we thought we could not tread, a way forward when we thought there was none. This is growth, this is transformation in earnest, and without the breaking of the heart as a figurative “ground” of our bodies and existence, we get no transformation. So, the breaking of our hearts is another way to understand life-affirming transformation.

Ideally, we honor both the archetype of the Mother and Father each day. We can increase light and love and goodness in many ways, and this is valuable as long as it is shared with others and infused back into the material reality (Mother) of our lives here. So, dance and sing and gather the nourishments of nature unto yourself so that you can face the world with more courage, vitality, kindness, power, meaning, purpose, and clarity. Then be of service by channeling it into healing creativity and sharing.

Earth changes that significantly transform the natural world and our place in it invoke the Great Mother in all of us—transformation. For this we must in some way die, hopefully only metaphorically. Yet, many Earth changes we now know are due to human-induced climate change. Those of us who have a pervasive fear of acknowledging our own part in destruction and suffering, may not want to acknowledge our responsibility for climate change. We therefore remain in an emotionally, fear-driven denial of ourselves and consensual reality. Some outrageous percentage of the population still doesn’t believe that humans are responsible for climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary (and not that science is always right, but in this case it sure seems to be). With such pervasive denial, therefore, much is also literally dying . . . as the lethal consequence of denying our own dark sides driven by a fear of feeling pain. Some have understood me to mean that we should create pain. This is not what I mean. I do mean that pain and difficulty, especially via loss or the fear of loss, are part of life, and when pain comes up in us, we should welcome and deal with it.

If we engage the Father and choose to rise above the work of transformation, this of course, is our choice. But I propose that this choice has lethal consequences for the Earth and humanity, as we see in the world today. In a gesture of compassion towards yourself, others, and the planet, I therefore invite you to inquire: do you fear facing what is because you are afraid of feeling pain? If so, whatever you flee towards might be a lie, contrived to offer you comfort from what you fear, from what actually is. This is how fear breeds denial and separation from grounded, practical reality—from our daily lives, from one another, from our environmental health, from our means of surviving and thriving. If we are honest, these practical things are what most of would say really matters to us at the end of the day. When we dissociate into transcendence before transformation, we lose what matters to us lose touch with our potential for compassionate action and power in the world.

 

WORKING WITH PAIN

 

Dissociating from the pain of life now is not unlike how we dissociated from our bodies as children because the pain of our upbringing was too much to bear and we did not have the resources or support at the time to make sense of and to heal it. Many bring this pattern of dissociation into adult life when faced with pain; it is often the pain pattern of denial we learned as children and have not yet dealt with in a way that brings integration and healing. To escape this pain, we invent religions, dissociative spiritual paths replete with magical thinking and then call it real because a guru or official said it was, as well as other forms of literal and unilateral light-seeking and imagined perfection (existing somewhere else on some other plane, of course, though some also report that they see nothing but good in the world).

As a brief aside, some have challenged me that if pain is ultimately good, why shouldn’t we just see pain as good? In a nutshell, my response is two-fold. One, to get to the good of pain, we cannot see it as good, we have to accept it as temporarily bad and painful, at face value, so to work with what hurts us. By doing so, it transforms of its own accord inside us. This is the way to feeling good about pain, not to see it as ultimately good and deny its sting. Second, as I alluded to earlier, I don’t advocate creating more pain in life and I try to minimize pain as much as I can. This highlights my position that we should not try to create unnecessary pain; life is full of it already, and a given. Again, when pain knocks and shows its face, we should not deny it. We should be wise and careful to try to avert it, but not to deny it when it presents to us.

When Earth changes, especially those induced or exacerbated by human agency, cause us to come face to face with pain, death, and their concomitant emotional and spiritual challenges, we have the opportunity to face both fears and make crucial inner and outer progress. In this vein, all current challenges and pain become not obstacles to freedom, but paths into healing the present as well as our treasure chest of childhood traumas. When we engage this inner-outer healing, we start landing in the seat of our bodies, of our “souls” as it were, through which we can engage more effectively in the world, a world that needs our passionate participation. The prospect of inner change is especially poignant for our times because if we cannot ultimately save our biosphere, we can right now begin to change our inner, psychic terrain and save our psycho-spiritual selves.

 

To stay connected to this world in earnest and most efficiently, I have found it necessary to appreciate the light as well as the dark. Embracing the dark does not mean that we are negative, hopeless, pessimistic, or in any way divested from what makes life worth the living. In fact, just the opposite is true. By embracing what is real—which includes what is painful and heartbreaking— in order to make sense of it, learn intellectually and emotionally from it, and for it not to remain in us as unreckoned debris (as the denial of pain that fuels horrors in the world), we are acknowledging perhaps the greatest miracle humans possess, one that requires activation of the best parts of us: the ability of our psyches as body, mind, and emotion to turn what is painful and despairing into more beauty and love. Perhaps if more of us had the tools and dedication to do this inner work, we would not be so disengaged from ourselves and the Earth, from the natural cycles of transformation through dark and light, and we would not have injured everything so badly to begin with.

This inner work begins by acknowledging, embracing, and allowing difficulty to change us. This change occurs mentally and intellectually as we learn the terrain of injury, healing, critical thinking and compassion. We harvest wisdom from our travails as our “hearts” are simultaneously changed at an ineffable, deep level, spawning compassion, empathy, and passionate awareness. We become comprehensively changed this way, one very different from primarily “changing our thoughts” and engaging in yet another attitude adjustment towards positivity, which are typically the shallow yet well-meaning prescriptions of the New Age, unilateral light-seeking enterprises that lack a heartfelt appreciation of the dark and its deep cleansing and ability to refigure our psyches.

 

We become the change we want to see in the world when we do more than muster gestures of compassion at will, which to be fair, is also a worthy and necessary effort. Yet, this venture usually fails when we become emotionally triggered during challenges that deeply affect us. When stressed and triggered, we find we have little resources with which to cope, and we bail through any number of justified escape routes invented to deny pain rather than embrace it and be changed by it. This is usually characterized by justification and neurotic ego-defensiveness. However, if we have done the deep, shadow work, however, we have more integration at this deep trigger level and can respond with our hard-won resources of more integrity and care. You can usually assess your own healing success when you are deeply triggered by how powerfully you are affected and how skillfully and level-headedly you navigate your reaction or response.

 

Before transformation, what we can be changed into is as unimaginable as the butterfly is to the caterpillar. This is why surrender into doing difficult shadow work is usually spawned intuitively—we sense this way into more comprehensive healing. Certainly, this is what happened for me. I was helped by having pursued just about every version of literal, dissociative light-seeking only to find myself after many years still unfulfilled and filled with emotional toxins. Body-centered emotional work became my cure. As hard as it was, it gave me what I felt and noticed was lacking.

 

Like myself at one time, I think that many don’t realize that there is a way to stay present through pain and challenge and turn it into beauty and grounded love. Doing so also prevents this pain from backlogging in our bodies and causing untold injury for years to come, injury that spreads into the world. Eventually we must unearth and deal with it if we want to live better. These resources can be learned, and at the heart of the process is learning to feel our feelings in our body and to work with them and allow them to work on us, while we deepen and learn and let our hearts break. This demarcates a grounded, embodied spiritual path. Denying it marks the beginning of ten-thousand problems. Such work is often most productive and effective with an experienced, somatically-oriented psychotherapist, though much work can be done on one’s own. And no, it’s not fun. So giving up the idea that everything has to be fun, ironically, becomes a prerequisite for having more fun. Besides, our sense of “fun” becomes redefined after the process anyway.

 

Indeed, we must break down in order to be rearranged in loving and wise order. The result of this process is akin to what we imagine our untainted selves to have been as children, before injury and conditioning began, before pain closed off our hearts and caused us to believe limiting untruths about ourselves and the world. To get back to this innocence and wholeness as adults, however, we can’t just think it so, or act as so, at will. We have to engage in a focused process to “clean out our hearts,” to dissolve the pain that has accumulated there. This is to acknowledge what neurobiology has discovered about memory and how our emotions are mediated and remembered in the brain and its extended nervous system throughout the body, the latter representing our unconscious.

 

To do this inner work is to return to the childhood parts of us in order to learn love in the face of what hurt us. All the Earth changes challenge this part of us now because they trigger our fear of death and taking away what we love and what loves us. In childhood we lost love because we simply did not get it in unconditional form, and we feared we would die if we differed with our parent’s expectations of us, and so settled for acting in the ways our parents would reward us with praise. Either way, we lost out on some juicy, genuine unconditional love because we had to stave off an unconscious fear of dying.

 

As children our fear of being abandoned and unable to provide for ourselves, and therefore literally dying, is understandable. Yet, when we carry this childhood fear of essential loss into adulthood, when we can provide for ourselves and not literally die, we begin to perpetuate neurotic fear—the fear that if we act according to our true sense of self (which we could not as children in order to survive) we will literally die. Indeed, providing for ourselves as adults can help us to separate childhood fears for literal survival from neurotic adult beliefs that we will literally die. Knowing this as adults helps us to stem our fear of literal death each time we are emotionally triggered.

 

As adults, the case most often is not that we will literally die but that we will figuratively die. This figurative death is the process of transformation, of enduring pain and loss wholeheartedly into new life and passion. It is the rite of passage into true adulthood, wherein, ironically, we reclaim our childhood innocence from the shrouds of unconscious emotional trauma and allow this vitality to fuel our adult passions and contributions to society. This way we die to our pain, in order to be re-birthed into an integrated, new light. We die (figuratively) in order to live . . . actually, here and now, in our bodies, with no need for a heaven or afterlife or other magical realms to assuage us.

 

A TASTE OF DEATH for MORE LIFE

 

Anytime we face losing something we get a little taste of death, of darkness, of the part of the fertility cycle that takes from us in order give us something new. This way of Nature occurs physically as well as emotionally in us in order to initiate us into an Earth-based, feminine and masculine-revering spirituality of death and rebirth. If we don’t have the knowledge and courage to allow transformation to happen in us, we are severely handicapped for the glory of being human. I think we all sense that some expression of light and positivity is the goal and purpose of our lives (i.e., “ultimate light”), yet we must get to this place both via literal light (trying to do good) and via embracing what is dark and allowing it to change us into beneficence.

 

I invite us to consider that looking for light when transformation (the Mother archetype) begs is an inappropriate honoring of the Father (transcendence). Transformation actually embraces both Yin and Yang, Mother and Father, surrender and intent, respectively, yet its foundation is primarily Feminine. The details of this process are too long for this essay, yet have been touched upon in previous paragraphs. It is, after all, the Mother we must embrace in order to become deeper Earth citizens.

By embracing and thereby engaging the psychological dark, fertile death process, we stand to become re-birthed in earnest, changed at our core rather than only superficially by willing ourselves to assume postures of morality. The transformational cycle through death and rebirth engenders a profound morality, as we learn intellectually and emotionally the terrain, causes, and cures for pain. When we live through and heal our own pain and what was done to us, we are fundamentally changed so as to not do it to others. The corollary to this, of course, is to act our pain on others when we have not reckoned with it in ourselves.

For those who might be reluctant to let go their ethereal ties, we also stand to become more “celestial” as the result of transformational death unto rebirth. Yet, this “celestial” experience is not lofty magical thinking; it is none other than enthusiasm, creative inspiration, vitality, and love in action as passionate, healing service—all of which are bolstered by becoming resurrected from the ashes of our pasts. This way we stand to become more present here and connected to our humanity and one another. To honor transformation for transcendence creates more love, more depth, more embracing of reality.

We can experience a feeling of unity with life through transcendence as well as through  transformation. Yet if we want both Yin and Yang, and therefore more wholeness, we would be wise to honor the Father and the Mother archetypes, and to engage both simultaneously. This happens naturally through embodying our emotions and both skillfully and passionately working through them. We can check ourselves for escapism when we fear facing what is difficult. When there is no obvious way out of a predicament, we may engage the transcendent (Father) through prayer and surrender to a greater power, and whatever hope and motivation we derive is ideally channeled back into working through our embodied, material challenges. We can also be compassionate, nurturing, and accepting of ourselves when we need a break or hit a wall in our process.

When what we love is taken from us, we can grieve this loss, which is an antidote to magical, transcendent thinking. This assumes that ethereal, magical thinking is a coping mechanism for not feeling our difficult feelings and our backlogs of heartache. Most don’t like or want to grieve; magical ideas are easier and feel better. But loss is part of life and so is the natural response of grief. Yet, just like the subsidies doled out by our government for poisonous agricultural practices, the damage we do to ourselves and others is hidden when we choose to “rise above” instead of “move through” significant challenges.

Denying our humanness for lofty spiritual notions is called “spiritual bypassing.” In spiritual bypassing we try to deny (ignore and escape) difficult emotions and experiences by unilaterally attaching ourselves to panacea-like ideals such as “bliss is our natural state,” or “our thoughts are not who we truly are,” or “we weren’t meant to grieve for long periods.” Who made up these ideas that go against self-evident reality? What seems truer is that we are both light and dark, good and bad, pleasure and pain. Even the Buddhist noble truth of “everything is impermanent anyway” is used to bypass ho we feel about a situation and to get the most learning out of difficult situations.

 

ORGANIC FARMING & SPIRITUAL NUTRITION

 

When we subsidize unsustainable psycho-spiritual practices through spiritual bypassing for short-term gain we deny and toxify our bodies. This is because we largely ignore the ground of our bodies and authentic emotions, just as we do the Earth through cheap pesticide subsidies that hide the real cost of damage to the biosphere. On the other hand, when we grieve loss, we stay committed to reality, to our bodies, to our humanness, to one another; we invest in transformation, in the fertility cycle of dark birthing light, in an organic process (rather than numbing or distracting ourselves) of tending to our pain (analogous to dealing hands-on with weeds and pests) in order to cultivate more pleasure, beauty, and care. When we embrace “what is” we engage in the organic gardening of ours souls; we don’t sell out for the fake fertilizers and toxins of denial and immediate satisfaction, which is the model of producing lots of pretty looking food devoid of real nutrition, while poisoning the ground. We invest in our humanness and lives here rather than an imagination of some other world, even the short-term world of capitalistic plenty at the cost of a sustainable future.

For years I have been sharing a reverent honoring of the dark (Mother), in order to birth more grounded light (Father). With ordinary, fact-of-life loss and the increasing effects from climate change loss, we have a special opportunity to finally face and integrate our dark emotions that I think gave rise to this mess. Eventually, there will be no way to escape these escalating Earth changes and the healthy self-reckoning they present to us, except perhaps to dissociate even more from reality and repeating the same pattern many of us employed to avoid pain at different times in our lives. This is understandable, yet it is not enough because this denial has turned lethal to all life on the planet.

As mature adults concerned with this world and one another, and learning to love one another skillfully and creatively, we owe it to ourselves and to Nature to come back to our bodies, to our locked away pains, in order to heal what has caused us to escape and deny body, deny Earth, deny transformation, deny the way of Mother . . . which has caused Nature to threaten us . . . because we have denied our own nature . . . we, as men and women, have shunned our own feminine wisdom, as the way of transformation. And when we deny Mother, we inevitably deny the Father, the precious transcendent perfection so many imagine as the Divine, because what is Divinity if our bodies and environment are racked with pain and suffering?

Mother Earth changes give us the opportunity to face and embrace the dark, this way of transformation—to heal not only our personal wounds that caused us to leave our bodies, but to face the body of the Earth, as experientially analogous to our own, and its human-induced climate change illness as the reflection of what we have collectively denied inside us. Consider: climate change is the darkness descending upon us for the darkness we have denied personally, and especially the collective of policy-makers who enact the laws and regulations that would or could have turned so much chaos around. By denying the chaos of pain inside (darkness), we have together created a world that shows us where we went wrong. This wrong was exacerbated when we removed ourselves from an immediate, intimate relationship with the natural world and acted out our pain on a global scale through technology, capitalism, subjugation, and the power to justify wrong-doing, among other enterprises.

A denial of our inner lives is the denial of the Mother, of transformation, often for the unwise and inappropriate fear-fleeing into the comfort of an imagination of the Fatherly light, which comes in so many forms: religion, God in the sky, consumerism of the shiny and new, New-Age beliefs and magical thinking that honor light and transcendence over the dark and light ways of transformation, patriarchal exploitation, over-working and especially meaningless over-working, denialist positivism, and rampant capitalism. It is also seen in the way we grow food: progress with little to no sustainable replenishment, via the year-round planting of GMO crops with fake fertilizers, pesticides, and no fallow time—reflective of our imbalanced living physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

CLOSE TO HOME

 

We all stand now in the lap of transformation. In my hometown on the Big Island of Hawaii lava threatens to engulf our town and change the way we live for years to come. While this is not a climate change result, per se, it is a similar natural threat on par with climate change disasters. Many ask should we stay or should we go? And this is a tricky question! If we go, do we go away from caring for one another and our community? If we stay, are we being impractical and failing to exercise ordinary common sense?

In the bigger picture, as things get worse and more challenging on the planet, do we go or stay? If we can’t leave our immediate neighborhood, as many of us on the Big Island now contemplate, we can leave in the form of taking on more radical denialist beliefs and faux-spiritual ideals that essentially divorce us from being here.

So, what to do? I invite you to consider staying . . . staying with everything that comes up in you and showing up for your friends and community. And to do all you can practically, physically, and common-sensibly, which will help you emotionally and for a grounded spiritually. Embrace transformation, and do what you can to avoid unnecessary, unavoidable pain. Get genuinely busy inside and out, in mind and heart and body. Rest when you need to and cultivate a nourishing network of relationships and inner practices.

Surrender your fear of the dark. Unless you are faced with immediate terminal illness, surrender does not mean to give into literal death, but to figurative death. At the same time, surrender your ideas of having to face unnecessary pain and loss. Some of the lessons here are common sense, some cannot and should not be grasped and explained because they are process-oriented, inner changes. Get your act together and take steps to protect yourself, but don’t try to prevent yourself from emotional upheaval, which is the beginning of transformation. Let it happen and be wise through it by also curbing neurotic thinking and emotional overreactions.

There is nowhere to run, and in the coming years, with current climate change predictions, there will be fewer and fewer places to find outer refuge. So, we must work now to become inwardly more resilient, live more inwardly rich and outwardly simply. We must appropriately toughen up and soften, honoring Mother and Father both.

As the lava comes, as the hurricane comes, as the drought comes, as the floods come, as your own emotions surface, flood you, and whip you around, pay attention and embrace it all and let it work on you. Use the mind-body tools you hopefully have cultivated (the ones I alluded to earlier as those that help us transform pain into beauty such as psychotherapy, creativity, peer support, meditation, exercise, good nutrition, good sleep, etc.) to process and to minimize what is “overreaction” (mind getting carried away causing excess physiological response and emotional response, and then these emotions causing excess poor thinking, as a vicious cycle, as one example).

All this will allow us to love one another and to love the Earth more as things become more painful. And yes, love is all we have and all that endures. . . beautiful etheric love that bleeds from material reality. We are now, every day, ever-more in the belly of the Goddess. Take heart, take good mind, take refuge in what frankly is.

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McPherson’s forthcoming book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

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Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on Facebook here

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If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 60

  • There is certainly a lot of merit in the above post. My own experience makes it clear to me that the solution is far simpler. As far as I can see the root of the problem is a hidden context of fear which says ‘there is something wrong which needs to be fixed’, ‘I am in danger here”I need to get something or fix something’. The psychology develops within this hidden context . it is the source of all the insanity, greed, corruption, aggression, hatred etc. The cure for this disease: simply try with all your heart to get a direct unmediated taste of what it feels like to be ‘me’- prior to thoughts, sensations, feelings. If you try you will succeed- that’s guaranteed. In fact the trying itself is the succeeding. All that’s required is one conscious nanosecond glimpse of the experience of ‘you’- and to know it’s ‘you’. After that it does itself and you find yourself doing this act of inward looking again and again for as long as is necessary to free you from all existential fear and it’s poisonous effects on the mind. It takes some time for the diseased psychological mechanisms to fall away but with the first direct contact with your actual nature-the end is certain and the outcome is a sane natural human life. Life just as it is with all its difficulty, confusion, pain, sweetness is seen to be exactly what we have always wanted. The distance between you and your life is gone and life is seen to be the greatest gift with its endless opportunity to engage and to learn. I tell you this from the bottom of my heart. So- just try-really try and get one taste of what ‘me’ feels like- just look for that and the end of all misery is certain. Set aside all understandings temporarily and just look at what you call ‘me’- the person ness of you -you cannot be denied. Don’t let the simplicity fool you-this is extremely radical.

  • “As adults, the case most often is not that we will literally die but that we will figuratively die. This figurative death is the process of transformation, of enduring pain and loss wholeheartedly into new life and passion. It is the rite of passage into true adulthood, wherein, ironically, we reclaim our childhood innocence from the shrouds of unconscious emotional trauma and allow this vitality to fuel our adult passions and contributions to society. This way we die to our pain, in order to be re-birthed into an integrated, new light. We die (figuratively) in order to live . . . actually, here and now, in our bodies, with no need for a heaven or afterlife or other magical realms to assuage us.”

    “new age” beliefs can get a bad rap, and for the most part, when it is all about “goodness and light” and a denial of the existence of evil and suffering, it is deserved. The same when “thinking happy thoughts” is used as an excuse to do nothing. However, that being said, I do feel that this also can leave those with a deep spiritual personal belief, or those in the process of forming one, one that does include beliefs of an afterlife, eternal soul, and heaven,perhaps looked askance at too often. Some of us, such as myself, will freely acknowledge that need for a spiritual belief, and acknowledge a constant striving for it. It is what gives my life meaning and purpose, and as such, should be able to stand a little belittling now and then, and hopefully will serve as a tempering process to create something beautiful.

    Overall, though I found a great deal very true in the essay, and a lot of food for thought, and am learning today to take what I need and leave the rest.

  • Hey Jack – nicely written essay. i’ll comment later, but now, this:

    http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/press/news/_layouts/forms/News_DispForm.aspx?List=8db7286c-fe2d-476c-9133-18ff4cb1b568&ID=1065

    Monitoring current threats: ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR), week 37/2014

    The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report is a weekly bulletin intended for epidemiologists and health professionals in the area of communicable disease prevention and control. This issue covers the period 7–13 September 2014 and includes updates on:

    The accidental release of 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution into the environment – Belgium
    As reported to ECDC by Belgian authorities, on 2 September 2014, following a human error, 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution were released into the environment by the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Rixensart city, Belgium. The liquid was conducted directly to a water-treatment plant (Rosieres) and released after treatment in river Lasne affluent of river Dyle which is affluent of the Escaut/Scheldt river. Belgium’s High Council of Public Health conducted a risk assessment that concluded that the risk of infection for the population exposed to the contaminated water is extremely low due to the high level of dilution and the high vaccination coverage (95%) in Belgium.

    ECDC’s assessment is that the accidental release in the environment of large amounts of live polio virus represents a risk to public health if susceptible populations, such as areas with low polio vaccine coverage, are exposed to contaminated waters or mud. Particularly since the Lasne and Dyle rivers are joining the Escaut/Scheldt river which flows in the southwestern part of the Netherlands where various orthodox protestant communities present a lower polio vaccination coverage, before reaching the North Sea.

    Outbreak of Enterovirus D68 – USA
    Between 19 and 23 August, Kansas city (Missouri) and Chicago (Illinois) authorities notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of 30 laboratory confirmed Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infections. The age of cases ranges from six weeks to 16 years. Since 19 August, 82 confirmed cases have been notified to CDC in six States in United States. All patients presented with respiratory symptoms and hypoxemia; most were admitted in paediatric intensive care units. No fatalities have been reported for these cases.

    This year, the magnitude of the outbreak in United States is higher than previous years. The identification of the virus and risk of potential extension outside this country, including EU, remains possible.

    Ebola virus disease – West Africa
    An outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been ongoing in West Africa since December 2013, affecting Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The overall situation of the Ebola outbreak in the affected countries remains critical. As of 6 September 2014, 4 291 cases including 2 296 deaths have been reported from the affected countries. To date, no cases have been found to be positive outside Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria or Sierra Leone with the exception of one case in Senegal in a Guinean national.

    On 10 September, ECDC published the EVD case definition for the EU. The latest weekly epidemiological updates are also available in the Ebola health topic page.

    Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak – the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Between 28 July and 4 September 2014, 72 cases of EVD, including 48 deaths, have been identified. The outbreak in DRC is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in West Africa. The epidemiological features of this outbreak are consistent with previous outbreaks of EVD involving Zaïre ebolavirus.

    ECDC is monitoring this event through epidemic intelligence and has published a rapid risk assessment.

    West Nile virus – Multistate – Monitoring season 2014
    During the past week, 17 new human cases have been reported by EU Member States: Italy (7), Romania (8) and Greece (2). Seven new cases were reported by Italy from six newly affected provinces in the current transmission season. In neighbouring countries, Russia reported 17 new cases from five newly affected oblasts in the current transmission season.

  • Hi Amy…thanks for responding and reading a long essay.

    I can only share that once I did the deep emotional work, for which grief was central, and really not only faced my dark emotions but allowed them to change me as I worked with them, my ideas and need for the supernatural subsided. In fact, I experienced that supernatural belief systems (what are often called “spiritual” but for me, as I look back, were simply my imagination needing to assuage my pain) got in the way of my emotional work and of keeping my heart clean. My spirituality is now grounded in the hear and now; the magic I looked for in my imagination can be felt in the body in the context of everyday life. I look askance on new-age disembodied stuff because I see how it removes from our care here. It’s not a benign path, and indeed, I think it is a covert violence in many ways. Best on your journey and for keeping an open mind, taking what works and leaving the rest. —Jack

  • Tom, thanks for the word and update on evil.

  • even though us old people dig all this spiritual philosophy stuff, it must be tough on the kids. we all hate hard work, which is why we are all in denial about “green” energy. so-called green energy allows us to continue the industrial economy fantasy that is destroying life on earth, and make no mistake, “green” energy is an industrial mining and chemical processing activity responsible for all kinds of destruction. here’s a cheery little video that will challenge the thinking of all those who are young and full of hope. it will show you how facing the darkness full on can lift you to a higher purpose larger than your life. the people who made this video are young and able to face and deal with the truth.
    PIELC 2014: The False Solutions of Green Energy – Wilbert & Foley

  • Jack, a fine essay bringing up some interesting points.

    I believe the people in control of this planet have much in common with the people at the meeting portrayed in the film below. And the bulk of the populace is incapable of understanding what you have written.

    “It has made me distrustful of language. A gun means what it says.”……

    “Politics is a nasty game. I think soldiering requires the discipline to do the unthinkable, and politics requires the skill to get someone to do the unthinkable for you.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPIctGbAZEQ

  • If you seriously want to find out why green energy will fail, watch this video.
    Then use your sexual fantasy device (your brain) to imagine the implications of what this video says.

  • “green” is nothing but a capitalist brand, of course it spells FAIL

    because capitalism is FAIL

    – but once the power grid FAILS, renewable energy will be all that’s left..

    I have youtube blocked & disabled because it sucks bandwidth. I only allow youtube when I’m set up to download & keep the video file.

    streaming is FAIL too

  • Robert, thanks, I can’t watch the videos now, but I will. Also, just a clarifier in case you think this is simply thinking philosophy addressed in this essay. It is not. It’s action, living this way. This si the problem with writing and entertainment sometimes; these forms of communication get mistaken for ethers. So, yeah, it’s hard work I point to.

  • In the previous thread, dairymandave says:
    http://sunweber.blogspot.com/2014/10/denial-is-denial_2.html

    Gotcha covered—“bargaining.” ☺

  • Jack: I especially enjoyed the wrap-up to your writing – urging people to remain true to themselves and their communities (assuming they are not self-deceived and actually have community in the first place is a big assumption, but I agree with the sentiment) in the face of continuing catastrophic changes coming our way. In the end of course all habitat is liable to be lost as sea levels rise, ground-water dries up, and the many other problems that will devastate communities come to be. To me there’s no place to go, nothing to do, no special knowledge to be gained, nothing to have or own, and all the work should be done (should have already been done) internally to become more real externally and to have an established personal set of values that’s in line with stewardship of the earth by which one can live a life of excellence (to themselves and others).

    Robert: I listened to the Wilbert and Foley talk and see that they are coming to the conclusion that there has to be another way – which would have been great had we worked it out and done it all back in the 1960s and had it up and running by now. As we found out, it probably wouldn’t have worked and the vast majority (of especially first-world people) would not have accepted doing without their cars and wouldn’t want to be bothered growing their own food, educating themselves (in what it takes to be a member of a working community that’s based on love of each other and the planet) and living a totally different way (without electricity and fossil fuels).

    I feel bad for these kids and the coming generations in which it’s going to be practically impossible to live to an old age in a healthy state. They have to try as hard as they can, but i’m sure the damage that Industrial Civilization has wrought will only end up dashing their hopes, dreams and lives.

  • Years ago I found myself in a “do or die” battle with alcoholism. The disease was running my life and I most definitely was not free. In fact, I was dying inside which is also fatal to the mind / body.

    The first step was getting real with myself about what was happening. The pain of honestly facing what I had been in denial about was intense. (But what do you do when you look in a mirror and don’t recognize the person you’ve become?)

    Later I learned a process for becoming aware of, and getting rid of, all the miscellaneous garbage that had accumulated in mind/heart/spirit. There was a truckload of garbage, most of it resulting from a lifelong habit of not facing unpleasant realities – the truth about who I am.

    This was a uniquely humbling experience. Along the way I learned it is critical to forgive myself for being an ignorant ass and to forgive others so that I might find peace within myself.

    Cleaning out the garbage (weeding, clearing brush) freed up lots of new space where positive, creative forces could enter (seeding), live and grow.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have experienced some of the process you outlined in your essay of facing the reality of what is, accepting and processing through the pain, and being transformed into a better and more self-aware person because of it.

    To deny the pain is to deny ourselves. If we deny what’s real and honest about ourselves we are only fooling ourselves. And we will miss out on one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences of our lives.

    Thanx for sharing your experience with us, Jack.

  • Souls: (“and a lack of soulfulness.”)
    Supernatural. Therefore disqualified.

    The space-time-causation complex:
    (the Earth of which we are a carnal part)
    The body-mind complex is entirely a part of the space-time-causation complex.

    Integration of the above two: (we need to join with the Earth)
    Not possible, just as it is not possible to make water wet.

    TRANSFORMATION vs. TRANSCENDENCE

    Neither is possible for the body-mind complex, any more than for cloth to transform of transcend threads.

    Fear: (“Anytime we face losing something we get a little taste of death”)

    All fear is anticipated threat of loss of one kind or another.

    Salvation: (“save our psycho-spiritual selves.”)
    There is no self (except the Self of all selves) and therefore nothing to be saved. The spirits come in bottles.

    Spiritual path: (“This demarcates a grounded, embodied spiritual path.”)
    There are only two spiritual paths:
    1) To the liquor shop.
    2) To the bar.

    Self-evident reality:
    (““bliss is our natural state,” or “our thoughts are not who we truly are,”

    Who made up these ideas that go against self-evident reality?”)
    Those who explored that reality through their own existence, many millennia ago.

    What one can intellectually know as an object – distinct from the subject, the knower – is not oneself. One knows a chair. It is not oneself. One knows one’s clothes: they are not oneself. One knows one’s arm/leg: it is not oneself. One knows one’s thoughts – as distinct from oneself, the knower – they are not oneself. The sense of “I” is also a thought, known to oneself, the knower – but distinct from the knower – and is also not oneself.

    The sun shines on sewage ditches and flower gardens revealing both, but is neither sullied by the sewage ditch nor graced by the flower garden.

    Consciousness reveals awareness to the realised person and to the ignoramus, but is neither enhanced by one nor degraded by the other.

    The realised person’s is not limited to objective awareness (awareness “of”) but always rests in its origin in awareful consciousness (awareness, without the “of”) even when directed towards objects.

    That state can be reached intellectually or directly. Intellectually it can be explored in more detail in a short (in length, not in time to grok it) work “The distinction between the Seer and the seen” (“Drik-Drishya-Viveka”), or directly / experientially by resort to the Vedic, Kabbalistic and Buddhist meditation, “Who am I”. When the “I” is clearly perceived to be a mirage, it will also be obvious that the conscious observer is not constrained by time-space-causation, and is everything, and therefore needs nothing. It is the state of Contentment, complete, permanent, unaffected by elation or dejection. Bliss, like elation is subject to time-space-causation and is no one’s natural state.

    The body-mind complex will still have its needs, but all items in its “Desires” column having been shifted to the “Preferences” column, the “Desires” column will be empty. Long life: a preference. Good health: a preference. Financial security: a preference. Preferences, all, just like flavours of ice cream.

    Intellection vs. grokking:
    (“Buddhist noble truth of “everything is impermanent anyway” is used to bypass”)
    Not just impermanent/transient, and constantly subject to change. It is the first of the three characteristics (Pali: trilakkhana, Sanskrit: trilakshana) of existence. The Pali and Sanskrit words carry a connotation of indicator, as in a finger pointing at the moon. Fixating on the finger, one may miss the moon.

    Supernatural: Its full rejection is appropriate, and when carried to its extreme is compatible with the absence of all awareness except one’s own. Seven billion+ (-1) meat robots, with no awareness whatsoever, following their their physical, chemical, biological and neurological programming, is the acme of materialism.

  • And let’s not forget Mother & Father: (for Shaivists and Shakti devotees)

    Kali & Shiva

  • Robin Datta cannot be relied upon as a teacher, because he does not speak from his own direct experience, but only repeats doctrinaire dogma which is a mishmash of stuff drawn from Hindu scriptures.

    Fine, if you want to be a Hindu, I suppose, but many Hindus would dispute what Datta says.

    He co-opts the name of the Buddha to try and give himself some added weight and authority. But the Buddha said don’t rely on anything he himself said, certainly not anything stated millennia ago, test everything yourself to see if it works.

    Datta doesn’t do that. That’s why he says such opaque nonsensical twaddle, because he has no clear understanding.

    There are only two spiritual paths:
    1) To the liquor shop.
    2) To the bar.

    The Buddha taught that there ARE spirit realms, because he experienced them, as have countless others in all the spiritual traditions.

    http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art34036.asp

  • Where we are – A climate system summary
    by Paul Beckwith

    We’re up the creek – without a paddle.

  • The convergence of the many interrelated dilemmas we face is fast approaching. Here’s the economic picture (since Robin beat me to the climate one):

    on this site, two of the first three articles concern global economics (the first is Biden’s Harvard speech about “terreris” – conveniently leaving the U.S. off the list)

    http://utopiathecollapse.com/

    The Coming Collapse: U.S. Vice-President Biden says world is ‘literally fraying at the seams’

    Global Ponzi scheme approaching ‘day of reckoning’ – US, China, Europe nearing ‘Minsky moment,’ warns Economist

    October 2014 – GLOBAL ECONOMY – The world’s three economic superpowers – the U.S., China and Europe – are heading for a major collapse in asset values because their economic models favor consumption instead of productivity, one economist has warned. “We’re still not wise enough to realize that our current model is a ‘Ponzi scheme’ rushing toward its inevitable ‘Minsky moment,” Steen Jakobsen, a chief economist at Danish investment bank Saxo Bank, said in a research note on Friday. The term “Minsky moment” refers to a phrase coined for the Asian debt crisis of the late 1990s by Pimco’s Paul McCulley. Unsustainable debt will be the cause of the crash, according to Jakobsen, and will occur when the cash returns on assets become insufficient to service the debt taken on to acquire those assets in the first place. He gives no timeframe for his thesis but says that the problem of huge debts has been swept under the carpet by central bankers and policymakers and will come back as low inflation or even deflation.

    “We’re still working with the same dog-eared script we were introduced to all of five years ago,” he said. “Maintain sufficiently low interest rates to service the debt burden, pretend to have credible plan, but never address the structural problem and simply buy more time. But while we were able to get away with this theme for an awfully long time, the dynamic is now changing.” Central banks across the world launched bond-buying programs following the economic crash of 2008. Aside from injecting fresh funds into the economy, some economists have argued that bond-buying could also have deliberately helped to stoke inflation, which then erases sovereign debt – as debt loads lose their value when consumer price growth is strong. High-profile economists including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have warned on the potential for “secular stagnation,” when a lack of investment in a developed economy leads to falling incomes and stagnant demand.

    Jakobsen calls debt the “elephant in the room” and uses a simple equation on the U.S. economy to put across his point. He argues that U.S. productivity growth is low when if you consider that any shortfall in growth is being made up by increased debt. “The move onto the internet has ironically made us bigger consumers and less productive. Had we remained at pre-1970s productivity, the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) would have been 55 percent higher and the outstanding debt to GDP would be easily fundable,” he claims in his note. “No serious policymaker or central banker is talking about the truth told by simple maths and hoping that things turn out well. Hope is not good policy and it belongs in church, not in the real economy.” –CNBC

    Stagnation and Recession: Europe is crumbling into economic collapse

  • Robert Callaghan Says:
    October 4th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    That video was quite comprehensive … not just for green energy, but for the all the cogs of current industrial civilization.

    The only thing he, as a mining professional (with keen insights I will add), left out is the psychological peak … which is probably more difficult to graph on a peak bell curve than material issues (The Peak of Sanity – 3).

    Perhaps his most excellent presentation was the seemingly magical ability of Native American Trackers who could follow a trail in a degree of certainty that was seemingly mystical (IOW that good).

    Anyway, thanks for sharing the video.

  • @ ogardener

    I believe you posted this for me, a few weeks back ?
    Prescient, my good man.

    “Where’s the corpse?” the burial-team worker shouted, kicking open the door of the isolation ward at the government hospital here. The body was right in front of him, a solidly built young man sprawled out on the floor all night, his right hand twisted in an awkward clench.
    The other patients, normally padlocked inside, were too sick to look up as the body was hauled away. Nurses, some not wearing gloves and others in street clothes, clustered by the door as pools of the patients’ bodily fluids spread to the threshold. A worker kicked another man on the floor to see if he was still alive. The man’s foot moved and the team kept going.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/world/africa/ebola-spreading-in-west-africa.html?_r=0

  • Funny thing, all this hiding.

    We hide in the light, fearing darkness, which makes us unable to experience the rich truth of existence here, bright then dark then deeper into the dapppled woods.

    We also hide in ‘green energy’, fearing hard work and “deprivation”, which deprives us of the the rich satisfaction and enjoyment that comes with getting one’s hands dirty.

    How did we become so afraid of all the richest and most interesting parts of life?

  • capitalists do focus groups to see what brand sells.

    ‘green energy’ is an easy sell, because it allays guilt over us being 4 % of the world’s population consuming over 25 % of it’s ‘resources’, plus as always with capitalism, you get to consume your way to happiness without changing your lifestyle or even questioning it..

    and as with all scams, it does nothing to address any real issue, any root cause.

    with a background in anti-advertising and culture jamming, it all seems obvious, blasé and overplayed

    (every xmas shopping season I run clips from adbusters saying things like buy nothing!)

    – so from my perspective it’s beating a dead horse, and when fossil fool talking points are used to do it, it comes across as just another face of think tank FUD dressed up as hand wringing, which is wildly popular here. Very rarely do alternate lifestyles, low carbon, low tech, even get a mention here. And old fashioned ways before electricity, before plastics are ignored or scoffed at.

    I only mention renewable energy for 2 reasons:

    1.) they’ll be all that’s left
    2.) we’ll have millions of tons of e-waste laying around to recycle or re-purpose, all of which can only function in any capacity with some sort of energy source, even if it’s just a hand crank made out of salvaged servo-motors.

    they already have radios and flashlights (and chargers)..

    these anti-green brand screeds are always couched in the most extreme terms, strip mining, pollution in china, conflict minerals, etc

    and framed as ‘saving all 7 billion of us’ too

    the reality will be, a small minority that can piece together recycled and salvaged junk, into new useful devices which were already mined, already manufactured, already have the energy inputs invested. the question will be whether any energy is gained or they rust..

    I’ve found during my crawls of the internet that the Russians excel at doing the same thing – disassembling junkyard scrap, collecting the parts, designing new devices and new purposes, while buying nothing.

    – which is exactly, and only, what I do.

    My biggest purchase is solder – I buy nothing else. This is what many people will be doing once the grid fails – it will be the new trade of the times.

    these ‘quite comprehensive’ coal burning to just watch, videos and repeated talking points, always totally fail to mention any of this, because they have an agenda, which excludes looking reality square in the face, instead they engage in side-swiping, drive-by hits, cherry picking, to support that agenda..

    in the real world we’re facing, such garbage is worthless since it only serves to distract you from the hard work and hard life ahead, a life that wouldn’t be quite so hard if e-waste was re-purposed, and renewable energy was developed to run it..

    – some classes of people have only had junk and trash that other people threw way to work with, and they never bought into the consumer culture, the throwaway culture, the keeping up with the Jones’s culture. And this is the future everyone is facing.

    that future is now

  • Jack, you remind me of some of my best spiritual teachers. Thank you for this timely, well thought out piece of writing. Isn’t it interesting how you can read something and realize that it fills out and expands what your heart was already trying to tell you?

    Here lately the Mother, and the moon, and the owls that come to this canyon in the dark, have been in my heart and my head. I have taken to saying a little prayer to the Mother on many nights. Just asking for her blessing, realizing that she has always been there, waiting for me to pay attention.

  • I very much appreciate Diarmuid Galvin’s post, and agree – “it” is far simpler. And it is the truth of spiritual realities that make “it” simpler. When we attempt to describe spirit without acknowledging spirit, while denying spirit, things get very heavy, very wordy, tomes’ worth, very laden with layers of concepts with miniscule distinctions.

    Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie are great teachers who discuss this “growth” that Jack Weber discusses, growth that is considered to be emotional and psychological, but not “spiritual”. Tolle and Katie also avoid any direct discussion of spirituality, however, Katie alludes to it frequently if one is able to understand her comments, which can often be taken more than one way and are true on multiple levels.

    I admit to a need for spirituality. But my need exists because spiritual realities exist, not the other way around. I have had numerous and very profound spiritual experiences several times in my life and have psychic experiences regularly. Everyone doesn’t have near-death or veridical out-of-body experiences, but those who do have no doubt about the hyper “realness” of the experience.

    It’s why simple anecdotal accounts of spiritual experiences and moral truth from ordinary people are so powerful for others. No one needs any education at all to understand them. Small children can understand them.

    Trying to have spirituality without spirit is not really possible. But it is possible to communicate spiritual truths without labeling them as “spiritual,” as Katie often does.

  • crazy inventor

    ‘I only mention renewable energy for 2 reasons

    1.) they’ll be all that’s left
    2.) we’ll have millions of tons of e-waste laying around to recycle or re-purpose, all of which can only function in any capacity with some sort of energy source, even if it’s just a hand crank made out of salvaged servo-motors.’

    You can persist with your fantasies of a technological future if you wish but when the shit really hits the fan people will only be interested in a few things:

    1. Accessing drinkable water,

    2. Acquiring sufficient food to stay alive.

    3. Avoiding death caused by hypothermia or hyperthermia

    4. Avoiding having whatever few possessions they have taken from them.

    5. Avoiding being killed by other humans who are competing for the essentials of life.

    The reversal of the Industrial Revolution is already underway -I suggest you examine the conditions in Detroit, Camden, Greece, Spain, Japan and California etc.- and, assuming the habitability of the Earth is not completely destroyed via desperation measures to maintain industrialism in the short term (an assumption for which there is no actual evidence at this point of time), the future for humans will be a return to hunter-gatherer existence for the few who make it through each of the successively tighter the bottlenecks.

    The present phase of mass insanity is primarily characterised by ‘investment’ of energy and resources into infrastructure and stuff which will have no utility in the not-too-distant future, increased levels of fascisms and control, increased levels of military conflict, and an increasingly dumbed-down general populace.

  • “Nobody Has Any Idea How Disastrous It’s Going To Be” Warns California Water Expert

    Newly released images created from NASA satellite data illustrate the staggering effect the California drought has had on groundwater supply in the state. As Mashable’s Patrick Kulp explains, the images show the amount of water lost over the past 12 years, with different colors indicating severity over time. “Nobody has any idea how disastrous it’s going to be,” Mike Wade of California Farm Water Coalition told the Associated Press, as RT reports a growing number of communities in central and northern California could end up without water in 60 days due to the Golden state’s prolonged drought. While California is bearing the brunt, experts note “We’re seeing it happening all over the world, in most of the major aquifers in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-05/nobody-has-any-idea-how-disastrous-its-going-be-warns-california-water-expert

  • There is no difference in our species and say, a Cork Tree. It is selfish (invasive) and trying to survive just like we are. Ants are too with constant armies on the march defending themselves and probably intent on attacking other nests for all I know.

    Life is thus meaningless except for the here and now, and when it is gone – nothing. Poof. So, enjoy urselves while u can. Get over it, be nice, (impossible for some) and stop behaving obsessively, like we know who!

    Guy’s tact & tack is well understood by me. He knows what he is talking about and all that he says and does guide us by the abyss of NTHE. His purpose is worthwhile until the end. Bye! (Just to the compulsive, dizzy, well-meaning but mis-guided fools.)

    I saw today where the Dalai Lama even thinks the line should end. Apparently he thinks, justly, that the “position” is meaningless, not because of NTHE, but because it is.

  • attack of the strawman

    The specific context and only the specific context is the piles of e-wastes laying around.

    Beyond that, no one can say what will happen, how the collapse will unfold, what different communities with different resources already in place will experience (for example we have plenty of fresh drinking water for the foreseeable future and plenty of fertile soil and woodland – we’re surrounded by forests and a major river)

    – to pretend to be able to foresee what people’s priorities will be when nothing like this has ever happened before, is a fool’s errand.

    “fantasies of a technological future” is a strawman entirely of your own creation..

    ‘mining’ the piles of e-garbage will yield some benefits to some people, in some ways.

    I expect nothing more than that. I can, with renewable energy, broadcast to over 50,000 people here – most of the town. with just a solar panel on the roof. and people already have solar and hand-cranked radios..

    I can make more too, because I have spare solar cells.. So I expect to be able to continue broadcasting as I have been all these years. Maybe run some lights and even a computer a bit, maybe show movies, maybe broadcast TV to the neighborhood like I’ve done before..

    – that’s about it. That’s a far cry from “a technological future”, in fact it’s a mere pale shadow of what we have now (internet, cellular service, cable TV, high power broadcasting, streetlights, air conditioning, etc. – that’s “a technological future” which we will not have the power to do anymore. But that doesn’t mean there won’t still be solar calculators, yard lights (we already have those) wrist watches, clocks, radios, flashlights, radiation detectors and so on – low powered, self powered portable electronics. and the e-waste can be salvaged and recycled to make more..

  • ” to pretend to be able to foresee what people’s priorities will be when nothing like this has ever happened before, is a fool’s errand.”

    It has happened before just on smaller scales. What happens is people migrate to the resources. Migration is human history. Some will ask, some will beg, some will kill. Regardless of your preparations, your fate will be as random as an allied solider storming the beaches at Normandy.

  • and randomly sifting through piles of discarded e-junk that no one else is interested in, because they don’t have electricity to operate it anymore, “randomly” became “fantasies of a technological future”

    – only it’s not random, this shit keeps happening here over & over again

    .. why is that ?

  • @ Shep

    …probably intent on attacking other nests for all I know.

    For all you know !

    Why don’t you try some of that stuff called education, Shep ? Only a few clicks away, you can learn all sorts of interesting facts. Then you can have interesting conversations with people like me, instead of uttering inanities and insults.

    Ants, for instance. They have cities, they farm animals, grow crops, they have armies, go to war, they keep slaves, they care for their children, they have language, all kinds of stuff, just like us. Think what you are missing out on knowing. All that interesting stuff. Before your inevitable end.

    There are, in fact, very big differences between us and other species. As well as very striking similarities. That’s one of the fascinating things you could learn about and ponder.

    I know, I know… it’d make you dizzy…

  • kevin moore says: “fantasies of a technological future”

    What Extinction?

    The future’s just fine, I would think,
    For those on extinction’s brink
    Who like habitation
    In nuke radiation
    And don’t need to breathe, eat, or drink.

  • @ BenjaminTheJackass

    ..so when did you turn into a passive-aggressive weasel?

    and what other “talents” do you have, if any?

  • crazy_inventor

    Salvaging does not concern me. I have been on the tools since I was 10 and know what’s possible. I’m certain you can generate plenty of energy through your salvaging and ingenuity once industrial civilization unravels enough. My point is it don’t matter. Your well lit home in a new sea of darkness will draw the zombies exactly like a moth to the flame.

  • Feeling a little smug as I begin skimming ovear Mr. Weber’s paragraphs “But we know all this already! Haven’t we lived this!” Well, uh yes, many of my generation probably went through hard times, losses of loved ones, struggles, uncertainties, but at the same time had community, relatives, Religion, pride in our heritages, looked forward to passing “who we are” along to descendents…

    Something got lost on the way to the future. Generations that came after us don’t have a lot of what we had. One of the big things that
    got lost was the spiritual. I’m not sure when religion became a subject for jokes, when everybody needed an extra couple hours sleep on Aunday mornings, when public prayer (vigorously defended by politicians) slipped to the end of the meeting & then out the door –

    The “Back to the Land” the “Hippies” began as genuine, often included Eastern & other forms of spirituality, but that, too fell away with the need to earn enough money for food and shelter.

    So many “instant Messiah’s” “Temples of Progress” “Salvation in 3 easy lessons” have come and gone.

  • Maybe run some lights” becomes “well lit home”

    – ever hear of black curtains?

    I’m already set up that way BTW –

    I use only low powered (there’s that concept again) green LED’s (blue/white aren’t eye safe at night, they can interfere with melatonin production) just bright enough to see (well under 1 Lux, not even as bright as a candle) for normal getting around, and only use brighter lights when required (like the other night when a power converter was damaged (when a chicken jumped on it) and I wanted to repair it immediately, after dark)

    Yellow and amber LEDs are acceptable too but they’re rare in salvaged equipment..

    the period I’m referring to is in the weeks to months after the grid goes down, not forever, not no extinction, etc..

    – I get the impression some people here are so resigned at dying very soon after that point, that they resent the very idea that anyone else might live a bit longer, and express that resentment by sandbagging any hint of the possibility, by anyone else, or at least casting FUD on it.

    the cult of death has made it a taboo to speak of anything more than dropping dead the second the lights go out

  • crazy_inventor says:
    @ BenjaminTheJackass

    ..so when did you turn into a passive-aggressive weasel?

    and what other “talents” do you have, if any?
    ==

    Touche. I gave a little support to kevin moore instead of attacking you directly. You got me there.

    Talents? Not much left anymore. I used to think my limericks might help wake people up. Nobody cared. I collected some into a book. Nobody cared. I’m at the resignation after activism stage brilliantly presented here:

    https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2014/09/five-stages-of-awareness-or-is-it-six.html

    I don’t have anything new to say anymore, and yes it was a throwaway, not an inspired limerick. I just threw it together a way of saying hello to my doomer friends today.

  • Here are some of this blog that are utterly stupid. The ant analogy is exactly as I was pointing out. WE are no different than ants in behavior. DUH!!!! Moron!!!

  • C-I

    I see it a slightly different way. IMO, our main problem is individualism. So I get water tanks, and maybe they’ll get full somehow, and supply me awhile in prolonged drought. But the idea that I should have water while my neighbors die of thirst is not appealing at all. I say we need to see ourselves as a united whole. Everybody, deserving or not, diligent or not, should have enough water and food to live. I say we see to it that everyone has the basics (including skills and techniques like yours). The reach of such an approach would likely be on a scale that we evolved with–perhaps a few hundred people (added to which number would be local animals). When the food and water and other key resources run out, we all starve together. Providing there be a critical mass to enforce such a system, those who breached it would be dealt with most severely.

  • Queenie

    It was church going, family values preaching business owners and members of every chamber of commerce that pushed for “Sunday Shopping” back in the 1980s. Community has been all down hill since. They sold out their god for a few dollars more.

  • @ Shep

    WE are no different than ants in behavior. DUH!!!! Moron!!!

    Well, there you go, Shep, proving my point. If you’d just educate yourself, we could have an interesting conversation, instead of you resorting to your standard moronic level of insults and stupid remarks.

    We ARE different. Do you know what the differences are ? Do you think the social insects are all the SAME ? What about the termites and the social spiders ? The wasps and bees ? Why are some solitary, some aggressive ? What can we learn when we compare all the different systems that they have used to survive, with the different systems that we have tried ?

    I know YOU can’t tell the difference between yourself and a fucking Cork Tree, but I can.

  • @ Apneaman

    You are right about the “religious” chamber of commerce types who pushed for sunday shopping.

    But the main reason Sunday shopping was practical in the 1980’s was because wives and mothers had entered the work force & had no time for shopping during the week.

    Why had the cost of living become so high that one salary was not sufficient to support a family of mother, father, and 2 or 3 children?Not with all the advertisements for the “Best” cars, clothes, neighborhoods, electronic gadgets – college educations, vacations..

  • Seriously?

    Being consistently nice,
    Is life’s most invigorating spice.
    So, it doesn’t take much of a leap,
    To see the poor fellow’s a creep.
    When he lacks any fair or clever device.

  • Hey, Ben! You dusty old donkey, you. I love you, pal. Don’t ever give up, we’re counting on you to help keep our spirits up!

  • I never had any time to do “internal work”. I never had the luxury of spiritual growth. I was too busy taking it in the teeth under the capitalist system, just trying to jig the monkey up to stay alive until the next day. The trauma became a daily way of life. Now I am not interested in self-reflection and getting it right. Those are first world wanks. Now all I am interested in is setting the scales to balance and a healthy does of mental health restorative revenge.

  • “Religion, pride in our heritages, looked forward to passing “who we are” along to descendents…”

    That would be jolly good just so long as they kept it out of public situations where others also had to be present. I attended a school in Pakistan where I was the only non-Muslim, and the day started with a recitation from the “Recitation” (Arabic: “Quran”). Made me wary of Islamic Republics, and one reason why I came to ‘mericuh was because it has no state religion. Nevertheless, it has mandatory military formations in both the Army and the Navy where a specific person was invoked as a deity. If persons who do not subscribe to that concept have to make that formation, such deities should not be invoked. In principle, no deities should be invoked.

    “One of the big things that got lost was the spiritual.”

    Those who make a distinction of spiritual and otherwise miss both:

    Bodhidharma: “Vast Emptiness.”

    “Emperor Wu of Liang asked the great master Bodhidharma, “What is the first principle of the holy teaching?” Bodhidharma said, “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.”

    The Emperor asked, “Who stands before me?” Bodhidharma said, “I don’t know.” The Emperor did not understand.
    Bodhidharma then crossed the Yangtze River and went on to the kingdom of Wei.”

    Bodhidharma was the First Patriarch (of Chan/Zen) and tradition has it that he was born in South India and went to China at the age of eighty.

    “It was church going, family values preaching business owners and members of every chamber of commerce that pushed for “Sunday Shopping” back in the 1980s. Community has been all down hill since.”

    When I lived in Kentucky (ten years) there were “dry” counties. One of them happened to be the county of the Jim Beam distillery. One could visit the distillery and by various souvenirs at their shop, but nary a drop of their product. I thought that to be quite inappropriate.

    But when I worked, I worked every Christmas except two: in 1978 when I was en route from one duty station to another in the Navy, and spent that day driving from the Grand Canyon Village AZ to Albuquerque NM; and in 1990 when I was in the Army, en route to deployment for Desert Storm and spent the day at Spengdahlem Air Force Base in Germany awaiting further orders.

  • Queenie

    Good point. I remember it well as I was a 1970s “latch-key kid”.

  • I wasn’t going to post here again but I thought you might find this useful:

    “To promote health, return to your evolutionary roots and support your circadian rhythms by reducing light exposure before going to sleep and by sleeping in total darkness. Promote sleep onset, reduce sleep disturbances and support your circadian rhythm by following these simple steps:

    1. Do not watch LED, TV or computer screens an hour before going to sleep to enhance melatonin production.

    2. Light proof the bedroom and eliminate all light sources –yes, even the small indicator lights on electronic equipment — to maintain melatonin production and maximize your biological rhythm.

    3. Install a free computer program such as f.lux™ that makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights with warmer colors by reducing the blue light. In the morning, it makes the screen brighter like the color of sunshine.”

    http://stereopsis.com/flux/

    I just installed this ^ freeware, but it want’s to phone home, so I did 3 things to stop it:

    “127.0.0.1 justgetflux.com”

    in the HOSTS file

    the firewall blocks their entire netblock:

    216.176.192.0 – 216.176.207.255 (f.lux IP block)

    and Privoxy blocks their domain :
    Request: justgetflux.com:443/ crunch!
    using this line:
    .justgetflux.com

    It then has to ask you for a zipcode to determine your timezone.

    I’ve set it as low as it will go “ember” and it has “movie mode” which I was just using finishing up a movie I was watching. also has ‘darkroom mode’, you can adjust how little blue you want (down to none at all – ember) This is much more convenient than trying to adjust brightness controls or color themes.

    the second monitor colors/brightness is screwed up while f.lux is active on some settings, but it’s not important – I only display a ping box and netlimiter on it anyway. it has hotkeys, and restores the screen brightness/color balance with a click. I used to just turn off the monitor completely and avoiding working this late at night, violating that rule to check radar when storms are around (it’s now midnight here) but this makes it eye safe to keep working 🙂

    it’s available windoze, mac and linux..

    I recommend it

  • C_i

    By the way, although my specialist field is chemistry, fate was such that I taught electronics for several years -rectification circuits, amplification circuits, LED control, application of integrated circuits etc.

    I was quite keen on ‘alternative energy’ systems 20 years ago, could tolerate them 10 years ago, but now recognise exactly where we are headed and recognise that ‘alternative energy’ and electronic gadgetry can easily be distractions, diverting time and energy away from endeavours much more likely to be of value during the die-off period, to give it that name.

    ‘To promote health, return to your evolutionary roots’ is one of the most sensible things you have contributed.

    In practice it is damned difficult to return to one’s evolutionary roots when one is trapped in a deranged society of consumeristic maniacs controlled by sociopaths and corporations, but gradually decreasing one’s dependence on things electrical and mechanical is a good starting point.

    An interesting feature of human eyesight is the capacity to see at very low light levels, e.g. just starlight. However, I believe I am witnessing a rapid deterioration in the eyesight of many young people in the district I live in, judging by the increasing prevalence of wearing of optical glasses…. perhaps induced by too much looking at electronic screens.

  • Take your pick. Bought Journalism:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39870.htm

    Probably why some scientists say what they say.

  • @ Robin Datta

    Doctor/Colonel Datta, no disrespect meant toward what you have achieved in your career, what you learned, and have been through, which is remarkable, so I apologise, for what I said yesterday, for not making it clear, that my criticism is directed toward the nonsense you talk here, regarding the religions and spiritual stuff, and that you do not speak from your own direct spiritual experience.

    “One of the big things that got lost was the spiritual.”

    Those who make a distinction of spiritual and otherwise miss both:

    But you just told us, yesterday, that there is no such thing as the spiritual and spirits ! And now you admit that there is, it’s one of two things !

    Bodhidharma: “Vast Emptiness.”

    “Emperor Wu of Liang asked the great master Bodhidharma, “What is the first principle of the holy teaching?” Bodhidharma said, “Vast emptiness, nothing holy.”

    There are several OTHER translations of that exchange. It’s not safe to draw a superficial simplistic conclusion of what was meant or intended.

    Bodhidharma was the First Patriarch (of Chan/Zen) and tradition has it that he was born in South India and went to China at the age of eighty.

    There are also traditions which say he had blue eyes and white skin, which would be odd, if he came from S. India. But as there’s no solid evidence that he actually ever existed at all, we can never be sure. Despite scores of traditions and lineages all wanting to claim him as their founder, unless some new treasure of documentation or relics is discovered, the best guess, imo, is that ‘he’ is a composite, somewhat mythical figure, and that many monks travelled from India to China carrying the teachings over a period, and became consolidated under one name, for convenience.

    The fact is, this was all a thousand years AFTER the Buddha taught, and has very little to do with the Buddha’s original teachings. We do not know what those were, because they were not written down until centuries later.

    The earliest version, is the Pali Canon. That’s nothing like what Bodhidharma said, nothing like the Diamond Sutra (which you frequently mention) but THAT is the Classical Buddhism.

  • off topic

    https://rt.com/news/193192-particle-fermion-matter-antimatter/

    Finally! Sub-atomic particle observed, both matter & antimatter

    After 80 years of painstaking experimentation, scientists have directly observed a sub-atomic particle that is its own antiparticle. The breakthrough promises a leap forward in quantum computing and potentially shows the path to finding dark matter.

    The particles are called the Majorana fermions, after the Italian scientist who proposed their existence back in 1937. Quantum theory was in its infancy at the time, and scientists first theorized that antimatter existed: an opposite particle to the commonly-observed electrons and other particles were necessary for quantum equations to work.

    Although since then many forms of antimatter have been observed, the Majorana fermion remained elusive for decades, partially because it virtually doesn’t interact with regular particles. A team of researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported a possible discovery of evidence of the Majorana back in 2012, but other scientists pointed out that their results could have been caused by other phenomena.

    Now a team led by Professor Ali Yazdani of Princeton University and his team, which included colleagues from University of Texas-Austin, seem to have pinpointed the particle in an experiment that required months of careful adjustments, a two-story tall microscope floating in an ultralow-vibration lab at the campus and an environment of almost absolute cold. They published the results in the October 2 issue of the journal Science.

    The setup was first proposed by Russian-born physicist Aleksey Kitaev, now a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara, who predicted in 2001 that Majoranas would emerge on the ends of a superconductuve wire under certain magnetic conditions. Given a certain length of the wire, these particles would not annihilate each other due to spatial separation.

    The Yazdani team undertook to do exactly that in 2013 after winning a $3 million grant from the Office of Naval Research. They took an ultra-pure crystal of lead, in which atoms naturally align into ridges and placed on one of them a wire of iron, a ferromagnetic material, which was just one atom wide and about three atoms wide. The crystal was then cooled to -272 degrees Celsius, just one degree above absolute zero, to induce superconductivity.

    It took almost two years of meticulous work to precisely match the conditions required for the Majorana fermions to emerge, after which the scanning-tunneling microscope was able to detech an electrically neutral signal at the ends of the wire – just as predicted.

    “This is the most direct way of looking for the Majorana fermion since it is expected to emerge at the edge of certain materials,” Yazdani said. “If you want to find this particle within a material you have to use such a microscope, which allows you to see where it actually is.”

    The experiment not only confirms that the world indeed works the way quantum physicists thought it did, but has potential for practical applications in quantum computing. A quantum computer operates qubits, basic elements that can represents not only ones and zeroes, but also a quantum state of superposition that is a one and a zero at the same time. The biggest potential field of application of quantum computing is encryption and code breaking.

    But quantum superposition states notoriously easily collapse into conventional behavior, so scientists are yet to find the right material to serve as qubits. Stable Majoranas could do the trick (which probably explains why the US military showed such an interest in the research).

    “This is more exciting and can actually be practically beneficial,” Yazdani said, “…because it allows scientists to manipulate exotic particles for potential applications, such as quantum computing.”

    The team is particularly excited that they could produce Majoranas without the use of any exotic materials.

    “We realized that Majoranas could be present even in the common form of magnetism found in iron,” said Allan MacDonald, a physicist who led the Austin team.

    The observation of the Majorana fermion has opened the door for other theories as well. Scientists are already seriously considering that neutrinos and anti-neutrinos could be one particle and a kind of a Majorana. The properties and behavior of a neutrino are not dissimilar to that of the Majorana fermiones.

    Furthermore, Majoranas are a strong candidate for dark matter – the mysterious substance that comprises most of the universe yet remains elusive because it doesn’t interact with regular mater in any way but through gravity.

  • @ Kevin

    there are 2 sides to that coin

    – most people need reading glasses as they advance in years, due to the loss of elasticity of the lens

    I can see extremely well close up

    “I taught electronics”

    I was made teacher’s assistant in electronics class in 6’th grade – a class I got started, and the actual teacher for the class didn’t know anything about electronics.

    I ordered the class supplies, (30 soldering irons, 2 1 # rolls of solder, wire cutters, screwdrivers, etc) and I was the actual teacher.

    Delco donated a bunch of equipment and thus started my ‘career’ in salvage and re-purposing.

    (I also had the run of the school chemistry lab – the only student in school who did, until high school when me & a few others then did)

    – but all the points raised in the anti-‘green’ screeds are accurate, however now we’re stuck with millions of tons of e-waste, and the worst thing to do with it, is burn it for the copper, cyanide for the gold which is what becomes of it otherwise.

    Re-designing new equipment from salvage is pretty standard practice in Russia and other like nations. What’s lacking in young people in most parts of the world are the thinking skills to do such design, I’ve found.

    originality, thinking outside the box, applying artistic talent to non-traditional materials..

    Organic electronics show great promise and 1’st generation mineral based electronics formed the base that got us there.

    regarding NTE and the use of tech after the grid fails, I apply a more pragmatic approach – wood, vegetable based oil and paint, passive solar heating – whatever works, low tech or not..

    sure tech can be demonized, but the fact of the matter is, we’re stuck with it, it’s our legacy.. Might as well do something with it because otherwise it pollutes the air and water horribly

  • Today’s post includes a few presentations from my ongoing tour. It’s here.

  • Jack Weber:

    Yours is an interesting essay for this space. I want to give you a sincere and honest response. I generally agree with your ideas, but also not-quite. There is a great deal of understanding in your words, but I also find the entire work torturous in your efforts to have what is, in fact, spirituality without spirituality, which is what I think occurs here.

    Your essay is also interesting in your overwhelming use of abstractions. You use abstractions to define other abstractions, and use abstractions as a measure of movement between abstractions, such as this statement: “ . . a transformation that can deliver us in earnest to a new level of fulfillment, integration, and therefore healing.” This almost exclusive focus on abstract realities is both quite interesting and also, in my view, a tremendous philosophical and language weakness.

    There are two kinds of “real” things that exist, those that are concrete, and those that are abstract, obviously. We can measure the first kind, but not the second. Nonetheless, immeasurable or not, who can deny the reality of courage, life, love, beauty, power, truth, suffering? We see these things everywhere, in infinite forms, but there is no specific form for them.

    Human beings have great difficulty integrating these two ongoing realities (for good reason, but that’s either later or a different discussion). Just as these abstract realities occur in infinite forms, every person has an unavoidably subjective understanding as to what these words mean in their entirety. We may generally agree on what “love” or “beauty” or “justice” are, but, in fact, everyone sees these things from a unique perspective. Ironically, it is the abstract realities that we care about the most, as I think your essay illustrates. You write almost exclusively concerning these abstract realities, as though the definitions are for the most part universally understood in much the same way we would all understand what a “Christmas tree” is. That is an error, because even well educated people do not universally understand the dozens of abstract realities being discussed in this essay in the same way, and it a weakness due to the fact that when we write this way ~ using abstractions to define and measure other abstractions ~ almost anything being stated can appear to make sense, even if it is complete nonsense.

    To go further in discussion of your ideas I would have to start at the beginning. The essential debate between evolution and theism is a debate on the relationship between consciousness and matter. Evolution says that matter creates consciousness. Theism states that consciousness creates or created matter. This core perspective of the relationship between consciousness and matter is essential in connection with a number of ideas you discuss, such as: growth, divine, transformation, transcendence, compassion, empathy, Mother, Father, death, integration, freedom, self, depth, discernment, guidance, humility, balance, fertility, destruction, our humanity, darkness, reflection of inner denial, your depths, creative force, honor the archetype, infused back into, soul, etc., etc., etc.

    “Growth” in what way? Like I grew as a child? There are so many assumptions, presumptions, presuppositions in using the word “growth” as you do, growth that is associated with psychological and emotional experience. I’m not sure that psychological and/or emotional change to a more comfortable state is necessarily “growth.” There would have to be nonmaterial realities that have a positive-negative spectrum in order for psychological change to be “growth.” Otherwise, what occurs is simply change to a more comfortable state. Once we begin to discuss nonmaterial realities that have positive or negative values, we have landed right in the middle of spirituality. I have the same difficulty with most of the abstract realities you discuss here for the same reason, such as “transcendence” and “transformation” which imply more than change, and specifically imply a change of consciousness.

    I have experienced transformation of my personality much as you describe, profound transformation. I have also experienced much, much more. Spiritual realities and spiritual dimensions, exist, I am convinced. I’ve caught glimpses of them many times. If they do not exist, evolution really screwed up giving human beings their special creative capacity for conjuring up so-called ideals or concepts of perfection that we never achieve, nor let go of, either. There is a clue right there, that we even possess this capacity for both wanting and conceiving of a “more” that never quite exists. Something is missing, and we correctly understand that it is in ourselves and in the world around us. We know more is possible. We remember perfection, and we call our memories “ideals.”

    So, first I would have to ask you what exactly is the source of “archetypes, natural law, transformation, transcendence, growth, soul,” etc., etc., etc., as you see it? Are we at your essay’s psychological Big Bang? It all just happens?

  • @ CI
    While I’m sure you’re more than capable of convincing yourself that your sixth grade exploits are worth reading about, you seem completely incapable of figuring out no one gives a shit about how smart you might have been in grade school, so could you please try and write about 99% less than you currently are, so this space doesn’t continue to read like an Asperger’s survivalist forum for the emotionally inept. Maybe you should try being pen pals with RE, if you’re lucky he might show you the concrete domes he drew in the third grade. 

  • Additionally, abstract realities are best discussed within a material or otherwise somehow measurable context. Within context, it is possible to have a meaningful discussion regarding abstract realities, but I’m not sure how well it works without context. Without context, we get into religion. The one contextual exception I am aware of is A Course In Miracles, a document exclusively abstract in concepts. It is unique in the world for that alone, and for that reason it is quite difficult to read, I thought. It is the strangest brain exercise I’ve ever encountered.

    Your essay lacks substantive context for its many and varied concepts, although there is a conclusion that objective consequences are a result of these same concepts, these inner forces of “transformation” and “transcendence” and numerous other inner acts like humility, discernment, etc., near ad infinitum, that somehow are not material, but neither are they spiritual. I tend to reject approaches like yours which are (1) personal accounts of subject psychological and emotional change that are given the credence of (2) a psychological or philosophical TOE that is (3) predicated wholly on abstract realities, which are defined by abstractions and measured by other abstractions. When we write or speak this way, we are dealing with religion, no matter what we think, and this style is found in religion everywhere.

    I have a gut feeling that your essay and all works like it, the preferred form of intelligent and intellectual materialists, all appear smarter than they really are, while missing the larger truth altogether. I sincerely apologize for the harshness of that comment, but when an author ascribes a cosmic level of importance to inner or nonmaterial *changes* by using words like “transformation” and “transcendence,” and many other cosmically weighty terms that imply degrees of value within nonmaterial realities, then such values and definitions do require justification.

    Contrast this presumptive and intellectual approach to nonmaterial realities with its opposite, with the power, beauty and simplicity of many of the great religious texts of the world.

    You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

    One who acts on truth is happy in this world and beyond. Dhammapada 13:2

    I think the message that “the truth will make you free” was a big part of your own essay.

  • funny that

    – how an unknown new pseudonym shows up one day, who immediately launches into speaking for ‘everyone’ (no one) then attempts to bully someone who’s been here since the very beginning into essentially not posting at all, while also yet again playing the guilt-by-association card with reverse engineer.

    a sockpuppet with a chip on it’s shoulder, too chicken shit to fess up to it’s previous failings, it appears.

    I wrote a grand total of 442 characters about the subject only after Kevin brought it up (being a teacher in electronics)

    so, 1 % of that (- 99 %) is 4 characters..

    let’s see now, what to say in 4 characters

    TROLL